This article discussing how Common Core does not add up to STEM success has been on my personal FB wall for a few days now and has generated some interest from parents with children from both ends of the “special needs” spectrum – students who are learning disabled and the gifted student.
If you cant read it there, see the same article here: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_24743742/common-core-fails-prepare-students-stem
I am working on writing a blog post regarding the adverse impact of Core on kinesthetic learners and, additionally, how the standards serve to stymie the potential of gifted children in public schools, FYI. Among other things, my blog post will discuss STEM and cites this WSJ piece as a reference with some links, sneak peek, to follow. I am behind having chosen to “take a break” for the holidays. I apologize, please bear with me. This is a sneak peek of some of the concerns that will be discussed in the blog piece that is to follow.
Here is a video exchange of Stotsky and Zimba – re: STEM and Core to augment the article.
The speaker is Jason Zimba, one of the three drafters of the Common Core math standards. The questioner is Dr. Sandra Stotsky. This exchange took place at a meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on March 23, 2010. As you will hear, Dr. Zimba admits not only that the CC math standards aren’t designed to prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies, but also that they’re not designed to get a student into any selective college, even in a non-STEM discipline. This is the idea that Stotsky has been trying to convey to be true, despite the hype about purported raised bar of Core, and she sets that forth in the WSJ article articulately.
Here is Stotsky and Milgram’s White paper linked to the Pioneer Policy Inst. Research blog on which that WSJ piece is based:
Meanwhile, I note that the National Assoc for Gifted Children has raised serious concerns about Core standards in so far as they have opined that the Core standards stymie gifted learners considerably. According to NAGC, the standards serve as a floor not a ceiling but there are no caveats in the standards policies that would support gifted students in or beyond the classroom. In fact, NAGC notes the opposite is true of the standards. In writing, as a matter of Core policy, the standards offer no variation to meet the needs of special needs groups. Instead of serving as a bar that gifted students can and should aspire to, NAGC has opined that LEAs are put in an untenable position – despite dwindling budgets and limited resources- students are forced to endure a one size fits all approach and must provide pull in/push out services to accomodate gifted learners in order for them to reach their potential. The “one size fits all” standsrds caps gifted learners off indiscriminately.
The same is true for students with learning disabilities and special needs albeit at the opposite end of the spectrum. Core does not provide adequate means or support for students with disabilities either leaving LEAs in the untenable position of using precious budgets and resources to serve special needs students at each end of the spectrum- both gifted and those with learning disabilities- without resources that they need to actually succeed.
It should be noted that NY does NOT have State policies in place that support gifted students. It appears that the “college and career readiness” rhetoric of Core amounts to nothing more than smoke and mirrors show. Truth be told, Core amounts to nothing more than an unsupported bare floor. There is no foundation for the students who are required to walk over that floor to get to college and succeed there in many disciplines. Many students will fall through that floor, because in reality Core has no integrity and is weak. More to come.
Here is the info from NAGC for those interested in a sneak peek of what I am referring to as Core relates to gifted students:
Letter of Concern to Dr Childress/CCSS
NAGC Press Release Concern over STEM
US STEM Report